recap: state again as a summary; recapitulate: a way of recapping the story so far | [ no obj. ] : to recap, it’s been a year full of ups and downs.

Is there any difference between "to sum up", "to summarize", and "to recap"?

  • I am slightly troubled by your definition of 'recapitulate' as 'a way of recapping the story so far'. What is 'recap' and hence 'recapping' if not abbreviations of 'recapitulate'. So you appear to be defining a word in terms of its shortened abbreviations! – WS2 Jan 25 '14 at 19:01
  • It was copied from the built-in dictionary of Mac. I think "a way of recapping the story so far" is an example for the usage of "recap", rather than a definition. – kwgl Jan 25 '14 at 21:14

You've answered your own question. A recap involves a repeat of what was said (in condensed form.)

However, a summary is just a quick, condensed version - no repetition implied. Sum up is a shorter way of saying summarize.

  • 2
    Agreed, but a summary may occur after a longer narration, before it or in lieu of it. – bib Jan 25 '14 at 17:03

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